Sailing to Purgatory
The final scene in this true adventure shocked the author, too.

‘The reader will be enthralled as Paul, former Fleet Street journalist turned professional yachtmaster, takes us along on his ‘swallowing the anchor’ voyage, his retirement from the sea.

'This self-confessed newish ancient mariner … has spent almost a lifetime sailing solo, as both an ocean going competitive yachtsman, as a DoT Commercial Yachtmaster, and during his circumnavigation to become a singlehanded Cape Horner ... Sailing to Purgatory has all the roller coaster elements of a heart stopping adventure — drama on the high seas, observing life ... undersea volcanoes, a love interest, and waves high enough to scare the pants off most of us.’ - Brenda Vowden, journalist, avid reader

Home from the outside ... St Helenans,
'Saints', round their South Atlantic
island in Midshipman,
en route for Stockholm.

Enterprising forebears ... The house Paul's father designed, and the car his paternal grandfather designed and built.

Running repairs ... crewman Declan checks rig fittings on the superyacht, Midshipman, which Paul sailed from the Cape to Sweden.

Sail power ... Gavin's Howe's beautiful yacht in the Mediterranean.

Rescue in the Southern Ocean ... Yachting World's international edition this month features Paul and Captain Fantastic in its Great Seamanship series.

Pat and Gerry Adamson, two wonderful supporters get Spirit of Pentax ready for her circumnavigation.

Home sweet home ... St Helena islanders, after a voyage round their island home on the superyacht, Midshipman.

Baptism of a Cape Horner ... Lady Chichester names Spirit of Pentax in a ceremony at Brighton Marina.

Homeward Bound 2 is prepared for her attempt on the longest open boat record.

Tri trials ... testing Paul's entry in the singlehanded race across the Atlantic are great friends Ron Pell, Jerry Freeman plus a keen helper.

Cover up ... Bob Abrahams works on cover ideas for Sailing to Purgatory.

Stocking up for 18 months ... Last minute farewells before Spirit of Pentax and Paul left on the long route to become Cape Horners.

Death of a racer ... Baltic Wind flounders after running into a container in the South Atlantic. Paul and a lady shipmate spent eight worrying days in a liferaft.

An interesting aspect of our very weird lockdown comes from the strange outbursts from people who somehow seem convinced that self-imprisonment is the answer to battling a weird virus that seems more sci-fi than reality.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Home tutor ... When the State says you must study at home, it's a real help if you have a friend that knows the purrfect answers. Photo by Reuters on Twitter.
I mean, hear a government minister losing his cool today when the interviewer asked him when these ghost town-like antics will end.

The fellow lost his cool on microphone, insisting the public is not to be encouraged to think about afterwards.


A good friend gets so frantic about people simply going out-of-doors during our weird lock-down that I hold back from even mentioning my combined cycling exercise and shopping expeditions.

It might be more understandable had he been one of those who used to go on about the sanctity of Sundays when no business should be allowed to open on the holy day. But I've not heard such conformist bias from him.

I remember only too well what it was like in the army when people were confined to barracks.

You wouldn't see any conscientious obeying of sudden rules like that, and this by people supposedly learning about discipline.

They’d be out and over the walls the moment a safe means of return had been devised.

Impromptu demands

And yet here in peacetime large numbers follow the hardly more than impromptu demands of politicians. Very odd.

Has all the world gone crazy? A calmer and more understandable side of the madness appeared in social media from Germany, a country with far less demanding rules – and interestingly rather less cases of the virus.

Reuters tweeted the photo of pupil Kaethe Singer, of Jugenheim, near Darmstadt, stuck at home doing her school work but getting welcome advice from her cat.

‘Very cute!’ a Tweeter commented.‘We should always study with cats.’

A doubter commented, ‘She does not know how to hold a pencil.’

Another wrote, ‘Better holding a pencil like that and knowing what to write. Others know how to type and write nonsense.’

Cheering and clapping

Not everyone's militant here, of course.

Take last Thursday evening at about 8pm, for instance. I was cycling up steep Surbiton Hill after a semi-clandestine foray to Sainsbury's.

People suddenly emerged from their homes to cheer and clap, shouting what sounded like 'Any HS?' I took that to be a topical phrase for 'Any Home Service?' 'Not in my neighbourhood, I called back.

That was really nice and a welcome change from the demands for stop-at-home obedience.

Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory and on Blogger,

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook and Blogger.

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